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Identity Theft, Phishing and Phone Scams

The IRS has released its updated 2018 list of the top tax scams. The biggest story this tax season is phishing attempts, with all types of taxpayers and businesses being targeted, and phone scams, with taxpayers getting threatening calls from criminals pretending to be IRS agents or bank representatives.

Other fraudulent activities include fake charities hoping to take advantage of people’s goodwill by manipulating them into giving out personal information such as credit card and social security numbers, and bank account numbers. These fake charities often have names similar to real charities and even have realistic-looking websites.

Criminals often use scare tactics by calling or emailing unsuspecting taxpayers and threatening arrest, deportation or driver’s license revocation if a phony tax bill isn’t paid immediately over the phone. The scammers are very sophisticated and will even alter their caller-ID so that it appears that the call is coming from the IRS. They may give fake titles and badge numbers, and may even use the taxpayer’s name, address or other personal information, sometimes even bank information. Be aware that the IRS will never call and request bank or personal information over the phone or via email! Always make sure your personal email security software with firewall and anti-virus protection is up to date and NEVER click on links or open attachments from any suspicious or questionable emails.

Please don’t hesitate to notify your HW and Associates accountant if you feel you may have been the target of a tax scam or identity theft. We can review purported IRS communications and requests, and help protect your data and resources from these unscrupulous criminals.

March 25th, 2018

Posted in Featured,Tax

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